If the early results of the 2013-14 season are any indications, it appears that the Bears have grown up in a hurry.
With a 4-1 record through its first five games, Cambridge has already surpassed its win total of a year ago and is quickly establishing itself as a team to watch in the early part of the season.
For coach Chip Flemmer, a year of experience under his players’ belts has made the difference so far at the beginning of the second season of the new program.
“The biggest thing is in year two is that we have most of the same guys with us from last year,” Flemmer said. “But, it’s so much easier this year because you’re hitting the ground running and we know what the expectations are. The offense has been put into place; the defense has been put into place. It’s much easier from last year, where we were just starting from scratch and assembling a group of guys together that really hadn’t played together for the most part.”
The Bears have also benefited from an influx of new talent who have made a difference immediately.
“We have some new guys who have moved in or came from the JV team and they have kind of stepped up and taken their game to another level,” Flemmer said. “So, that has helped us too.”
An improved performance on defense has also been a key for Cambridge, which had given up an average of 49 points a game through its first five games after allowing 65 per contest a year ago.
“They really are playing some good defense and that is up from last year,” Flemmer said. “Last year, we gave up 60 to 70 points a game and it’s tough to win those games when we’re giving up that many. It makes it a lot easier offensively when you don’t have to score so many.”
Six-foot-3 junior guard Jordan Sloter led Cambridge in scoring through the first five games with 17.5 points a game, while 6-2 junior guard Emerson McClung (14.2) 6-3 senior forward Hunter Knocke (11.6) and 6-5 sophomore forward Chance Anderson (8.8) are the other leading scorers for the Bears.
“The funny thing about us is, we don’t have just one or two guys,” Flemmer said. “We’ve got nine pieces and they’ve got a role to play and that’s how we’re successful. It’s like different guys step up each night.”
While encouraged by his team’s strong start, Flemmer said they still have a long way to go.
“You never know,” he said. “I’m telling these guys to take it one day at a time, one game at a time. If we do the things that we’ve been coached to do, the success will result.”